What the news business is missing is what Scott Karp has

Scott Karp is thinking deep thoughts instead of reading the Sunday newspaper:

“What the news business and the entire media business are suffering from most right now is a failure of imagination. Nobody imagined that somebody would be so recklessly uncapitalistic as to create a website where people could post classified ads for free. Nobody imagined that an online software company specializing in information retrieval, but which produced no information of its own, could create the largest market for small business advertising that the world has ever seen.”

Scott’s idea:

“Instead of asking people to donate cash or pay for news to help keep journalism alive, neither of which will fly, why not ask people to donate classified advertising.”

Ironically (and one would have to be an avid reader of Scott’s to understand the irony), there’s a failed(?) experiment sitting on the shelf at Google, that sorta, kinda, tried to do this — without the “donation” part of the strategy considered.

Other smartness:

  • Doc Searls: “How to Save Newspapers”

  • Dave Winer

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    • Rex, Google’s run at newspaper classified advertising suffers the same problem as newspaper executive thinking about Craigslist — it assumes that pure utility will determine everything. And it does determine a lot of things. But not when it comes to environmentalism, which you’ve probably gathered is my new pet example — didn’t you read the NYT about the zero impact family who doesn’t even buy toilet paper?

    • Rex Hammock

      Agreed, Scott. I think I was suggesting that if they recast the whole thing in the image you suggest, they may have a better shot at making some sense of that Google newspaper classified thing. As for your environmentalism example, I was tempted to suggest that it may (again, ironically) be used as a reason to forego print, altogether. Perhaps (again, I jest, really, I jest) an argument can be made that by foregoing the print versions of publications in favor of the online version, we collectively are making a pro-environmentalist decision. (However, I haven’t done any carbon foot-printing analysis of emissions generated by my use of a computer vs. paper production, printing and distribution).